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Tinashe – Winter 2015
Tinashe – Winter 2015Photography Sean + Seng, Styling Robbie Spencer

Tinashe says the black community hasn’t embraced her

After the comments about ‘colourism’ got her into hot water, she responded on Twitter

R&B singer Tinashe has been torched for speaking out in a new interview with The Guardian, where she speaks about not being fully embraced by the black community.

“There’s colourism involved in the black community, which is very apparent,” she told The Guardian. “It’s about trying to find a balance where I’m a mixed woman, and sometimes I feel like I don’t fully fit into the black community; they don’t fully accept me, even though I see myself as a black woman. That disconnect is confusing sometimes. I am what I am.”

As it is contextualised in the interview, the comment reads as though she blames the black community for not helping her to achieve chart success. The singer took to Twitter to shut down how the comments were presented.

The “2 On” singer has long been on the come-up, pegged for success after working with Future, Schoolboy Q, Mike WiLL Made-It and DJ Mustard. Despite the A-list collaborators, she hasn’t exactly cracked the top 10, and her album Joyride has been delayed multiple times.

In the interview, she also addressed rumours that Rihanna’s camp nabbed the title track off of Joyride. “Yeah, that’s true,” she said. “But I don’t know if it was personally Rihanna, like, ‘I’m taking that from Tinashe.’ I don’t think that’s how it worked. But it’s back now.”

She also voiced her thoughts on being unfavourably compared to Rihanna and Beyoncé. However, many on Twitter have pointed out that these same names who garner comparisons had to struggle when they were still just a twinkle in the public’s eye.

While the singer began trending on Twitter for her comments, and despite saying that the colourism comments were removed of context, these feelings aren’t new. Tinashe has long been vocal about how she feels sidelined in the music industry.

“For me, I feel like I still have to represent the (black) community,” she told xoNecole in December 2015. “That has been what has been my struggle because people do feel like there is only room for one. There is a Beyoncé, there is a Rihanna, there is Zendaya, there is a Jourdan Dunn. There is a black girl in all of these positions and we don’t need another one.”

“It’s just kind of ridiculous because there are like a hundred blonde, white actresses and leading ladies. There are a hundred rappers that all virtually look the same, sound the same, and dress the same and no one cares. But for some reason, when it comes to young women, they want to pit them against each other. There can’t be room (for us all). There can’t be five black girls winning. It’s weird.”

There is still no release date set for Joyride.